Every once in a while I have one of these nights where my brain is just flooded with thoughts and ideas and to-dos for the next day, and no matter how hard I try, I just can’t shake that hyper-activity. I try to jot down ideas or just relax in stillness to try to sleep, and when that doesn’t work, I know the only thing that WILL work is actually doing some form of physical activity without being too intense.
Here’s my go-to sequence that puts me to sleep when I can’t quiet my mind on my own.
1.) 2-Minutes (minimum) with Legs Up the Wall. I thought this would feel like an exceptional amount of time, but it flew by. This pose will temporarily slow the blood pressure down which takes the edge out of any anxiety or jitters you might be feeling while trying to drift off to dream land. It’s highly restorative and very grounding, so you’re more than welcome to stay here even longer if you like.
2.) 2-Minute Reclined Bound Angle. For some people this feels glorious, and for others they’re counting every second praying for the end. If you’re the latter type, feel free to take Happy Baby instead! Otherwise, bring the soles of the feet together and draw the heels in close to the groin. Let the knees get heavy as the lower back releases. Continue breathing evenly and let the eyes stay closed.
3) 1-minute headstand (OR downdog if you prefer) + minimum of 1-minute child’s pose following. Repeat this three times alternating between the two.
Whether you’re in a downdog or headstand, see if you can close your eyes. In headstand, keep the pressure out of your neck by pressing in to your forearms and gently extending up through the toes while drawing the core in. In either pose, remember to maintain a slow, even pattern of breath.
While in child’s pose, I like to wrap my arms around my body and reach down towards my heels. It requires a little less active work and allows me to fully rest my weight on the legs instead of having to think about reaching forward and supporting myself. Choose the variation that works best for you.
Once you finish, you’ll be ready to roll right in to bed 😉 Remember that you can add/subtract time on to each pose as you feel you need. This is just a guideline! And bonus points if you stay in Savasana for a few minutes after 😉
Tell me: What poses do you use to unwind?